Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives

Designing the Handle

The first step in designing the handle is cutting out the blade that we drew before. As you can probably see, I cut close to the lines but I did not cut on the lines:

Next, we want to find the center of the circle. All we need to do this is a ruler and a pen. Measure across the circle until you find the widest point and draw a line. Now, turn the drawing about 90 degrees, find the widest point on the circle, and draw a second line. Where the lines cross should be very near the center and it should look like this:

We will now start to draw a handle around this blade pattern. Turn the blade upside down on a fresh piece of paper. Draw a vertical line at the pivot end of the blade and a small bracket around the point of the blade, as indicated by the arrows. We are starting this way because those two areas are the areas of the blade that must be covered when the blade is in the handle. Most of the rest of the handle can be almost any shape we want.

Now lay a straight edge across the edge of the blade pattern and raise it to an angle that allows for some space as shown in green. This green area is where the back spacer will go (or stand offs, if you prefer) and the screws that hold the knife together will pass through here. So, as long as the green area is about as wide as the size of the screw head you plan to use it should be fine. Of course, if you want it to be wider to create a larger handle or a different shape of handle, that's fine too, but this is the minimum that you need.

Draw a line along the straight edge and then connect the ends of the bracket at the blade tip to that line and to the vertical line at the pivot end, forming a box. Add at least two dots to indicate the handle screw positions:

Next, draw your handle shape around the blade and the screw locations as shown in green. Remember, this is the minimum size - if you want to you can stretch it out to make a much larger shape:

At this time, it would be handy to mark the pivot location on the handle. To do that, just run a pointed object through the center point you marked on the blade while it's in position. I often use a tooth pick for this job.When the blade pattern is removed, what's left should look something like this:

All that remains now is to draw in the rest of the handle. You can make the handle very thin, leaving most of the blade exposed. Or, you can make it wider and cover the blade entirely. Most knives take a middle road, like this:

We are now ready to build a prototype of our new knife ........

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Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives